Joseph’s de­ci­sion to play on de­spite be­reave­ment shows he is a team man

Mid Day - - Sport - Su­nil Gavaskar PMG

WHAT a heart-warm­ing sight it was to see Sir Isaac Vi­vian Alexan­der Richards clap­ping with his hands held high and a huge smile on his face.

His beloved West Indies team had just won the sec­ond Test match at the sta­dium named af­ter him in An­tigua and with it the three Test match series against the ‘old boss’ Eng­land. It was as em­phatic a win as any and with that the Windies may just have sig­nalled to the crick­et­ing world that they are back in busi­ness.

Evolv­ing Holder

No­body apart from the Windies play­ers of course would have given them a chance against the Eng­land team but led from the front by Ja­son Holder, who has come on in leaps and bounds as a player and cap­tain, the home team proved just too good for the vis­i­tors.

There were bril­liant in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances for sure but the one that will be re­mem­bered is that of young Alzarri Joseph whose mother passed away on the morn­ing of the third day’s play but he still stayed on and cap­tured cru­cial wick­ets to help Windies win the game. The ges­ture by the English play­ers to wear black arm bands to show their con­do­lences to the young West In­dian was heart touch­ing and most ad­mirable and praise­wor­thy.

To­day when field­ers hardly ever ap­plaud the bats­man’s fifty or a hun­dred, Joe Root’s teams wear­ing those arm bands sent the right mes­sage to the young­sters watch­ing the game. Mak­ing per­sonal sac­ri­fices for the team is what builds up great units and Joseph’s de­ci­sion to stay on de­spite per­sonal be­reave­ment shows what man he is. a

Brave crick­eters


Ram­prakash, a tar­get

team There have been ex­am­ples be­fore of play­ers car­ry­ing on de­spite per­sonal tragedies like Vi­rat Kohli car­ry­ing on play­ing a Ranji Tro­phy game de­spite los­ing his father. There is also Sachin Ten­dulkar who flew back to spear­head In­dia’s cam­paign in the 1999 World Cup. There is Ek­nath Solkar who also played the day he lost his father.

These are all won­der­ful ex­am­ples and ev­ery one of these play­ers have shown them­selves to be team men to the core. Eng­land’s pa­thetic bat­ting dis­play im­me­di­ately brought out ques­tion marks against the bat­ting coach Mark Ram­prakash by some in the Brit me­dia. Mind you no­body ques­tioned the Eng­land bowl­ing coach as to how on a pitch where the Windies dis­missed Eng­land for pal­try scores in both in­nings the West Indies bats­men scored over 400 runs.

Hardly sur­pris­ing since Ram­prakash is not a nat­u­ral English­man. No­body has ques­tioned Trevor Bayliss the coach for Eng­land’s fail­ure and so the scape­goat seems to be Ram­prakash.

WI pacer Alzarri Joseph dur­ing Day Three of the sec­ond Test against Eng­land in An­tigua re­cently.

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